UNITED STATES NEWS

Rare whale found dead off Massachusetts may have been entangled, authorities say

Jan 30, 2024, 11:12 AM

A rare whale found dead off Massachusetts shows potential evidence of injury from entanglement in fishing gear, which is one of the most pressing threats to the vanishing species, federal authorities said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was notified about the dead female North Atlantic right whale on Sunday off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The right whale numbers less than 360 in the world and it is vulnerable to entanglement in gear and collisions with large ships.

NOAA officials said members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head were able to secure the whale, and a necropsy will be performed when possible. However, early observations show the presence of rope entangled near the whale’s tale, the agency said.

“Due to the animal’s position, the whale cannot be identified at this time, but it is estimated to be a juvenile due to its size,” NOAA said in a statement, adding that the whales are “approaching extinction” and have suffered unusually high mortality in recent years.

The population of the whales fell by about 25% from 2010 to 2020, and saving them is a focus of conservation groups. Environmental organizations have called for tighter laws on vessel speed and commercial fishing to try to spare more of the whales from threats.

Some industries have pushed back against tighter laws. Last year, a federal appeals court sided with commercial fishermen who harvest lobsters and crabs and say proposed restrictions aimed at saving the whales could put them out of business.

Right whales were once abundant off the East Coast, but they were decimated during the commercial fishing era and have been slow to recover. They have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for decades.

The loss of a young female is especially devastating to the population, said Gib Brogan, campaign director at Oceana.

“This latest example should serve as a wakeup call that the status quo is not working,” Brogan said. “The survival of North Atlantic right whales requires strong leadership in the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure fishing and boat traffic stop killing the remaining whales.”

United States News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

3 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state. Declaring a winner as […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Former NFL player Richard Sherman arrested on suspicion of DUI, authorities in Washington state say

SEATTLE (AP) — Former NFL player Richard Sherman was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Washington State Patrol. No other details about the arrest were immediately available, said Trooper Rick Johnson, a patrol spokesperson. A spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office said nothing had been sent to […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Lithium ion battery caused fatal fire in New York City apartment building, officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — A lithium ion battery sparked a fire that killed one person and injured 17 others at a New York City apartment building, fire officials said Saturday. Friday’s two-alarm fire began just after 2 p.m. on the third floor of a six-story building in Harlem. New York Police Department video shows firefighters […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors accuse a New Mexico woman of fraud in oil and gas royalty case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico businesswoman is accused of defrauding the U.S. government and two Native American tribes of taxes and royalties due to them for oil and gas that her companies extracted from leased federal and tribal lands. Federal prosecutors announced this week that Teresa McCown recently was indicted by a grand […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Rare whale found dead off Massachusetts may have been entangled, authorities say